NFL Divisional Round Predictions & Picks

Doug Bonjour
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2024

Wild Card Weekend lived up to its billing, as bettors watched three favorites lose and another fail to cover.

Will more drama ensue in this weekend’s Divisional Round?

In advance of the action, let’s break down three of our favorite NFL Divisional Round bets.

NFL Divisional Round Predictions

All NFL betting odds used for these Divisional Round picks are current as of Wednesday, Jan. 17, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Buccaneers vs Lions Prediction

Best Bet: DET -6 (-118)

It seems hard to believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing for a spot in the NFC Championship, yet here they are.

Baker Mayfield was outstanding again in Monday’s win over Philadelphia, passing for 337 yards and three touchdowns to pull off the mini upset. The former No. 1 pick has thrown multiple touchdowns in five of the last six games, during which Tampa Bay has topped 30 points three times.

Now, the Buccaneers go into a much tougher environment in Detroit.

The Lions generally play much better at home, and that starts with Jared Goff, who’s been a completely different player at Ford Field. This season, Goff has a 107.9 QB rating at home compared to 89.4 on the road.

In their Week 5 meeting, the Lions didn’t have Jahmyr Gibbs and lost David Montgomery early to an injury. Still, they led for the entire second half as Goff threw for 353 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Coincidentally, Tampa Bay is tied with Detroit for the NFL’s best record ATS at 12-6 and has covered in eight of its nine road games. But I’m sticking with the Lions to roll at home.

Packers vs 49ers Prediction

Best Bet: SF -9.5 (-110)

Jordan Love, seemingly written off after his slow start, has begun to blossom.

Aaron Rodgers’ heir apparent in Green Bay passed for three touchdowns against Dallas, giving him 12 over the last five games. More impressively, he hasn’t thrown a single interception during that span.

As you might expect, Green Bay’s offense is humming. Since Week 10, the Packers are third in Offense DVOA and have averaged 27.1 points per game.

However, it’s on the other side of the ball where they may run into problems.

San Francisco has had two weeks to rest most of its key players, including arguably its most indispensable playmaker in Christian McCaffrey, who’d been bothered by a calf strain. He’s poised for a big day against the NFL’s 28th-ranked run defense.

No. 1 seeds have historically struggled to cover the spread in this round, evermore so when favored by 10 points or fewer, and over the last two decades they’re just 10-25-1 ATS in that role.

Nevertheless, I expect the 49ers to buck that trend and cool off the Packers on their way to the NFC title game.

Chiefs vs Bills Prediction

Best Bet: BUF -3 (-105)

The Chiefs have twice eliminated the Bills from the playoffs in the last three years. Unlike both of those matchups, this one’s in Buffalo.

Injuries have begun to pile up for the Bills, who were without Gabe Davis (knee), Rasul Douglas (knee), and Taylor Rapp (calf) against Pittsburgh. But that hasn’t seemed to slow them down.

Buffalo has reeled off six straight wins since its Week 13 bye, including a 20-17 victory over Kansas City because of a controversial offensive offsides penalty on Kadarius Toney.

Although the Chiefs have done well to mask their lack of offensive weapons for Patrick Mahomes, I have to think that’ll catch up to them at some point.

Look for Buffalo to knock off the defending champs.


Doug Bonjour

Doug covered college and prep sports in Connecticut for more than a decade, including stints as the UConn women’s basketball and UConn football beat reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media. During his time reporting on the 11-time national champion Huskies, he covered three NCAA Final Fours. He also has written for the Associated Press and New York Times.

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